Fighting Food Poverty through Film: Or Why Global Challenge Research Needs the Arts and Humanities

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Food poverty is just one example of a global challenge where the Arts and Humanities perspective risks being judged at worst to have no relevance at all, and at best to be included as no more than an accessible tool to facilitate public engagement and awareness-raising. How therefore can Arts and Humanities scholars articulate the value of their work in such a way that researchers in other fields are persuaded not only that it brings something new to their understanding of the issues, but that to tackle such questions without this input would leave a significant methodological gap in developing the pathway to research impact? The present discussion takes as its central case study an analysis of the strategies at play to tackle the question of food poverty in French filmmaker Agnès Varda’s 2000 film, Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse [The Gleaners and I]. It then uses this analysis as a springboard to explore how, as Arts and Humanities scholars, we might begin to translate better our methodologies and the unique power of our objects of study to disciplines which tend to dominate research on food security, poverty and sustainability or indeed other challenge-based research. To this end, the present discussion seeks to decipher the power of this methodology in terms of the unique capacity for ‘affect’ of the work of art, and ultimately argues for the essential contribution of Arts and Humanities researchers as ‘brokers’ for movement building and social change
Original languageEnglish
Article number114
Number of pages26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2020


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